It remains to be seen whether the connections of Shogood
will attempt to stretch him out around two turns for his next start, but the evening of Feb. 20 he proved himself a very good sprinter with an affinity for synthetic surfaces.
Owned by William Stiritz and trained by Scott Becker, Shogood, by Nobiz Like Shobiz
, led from start to finish in the $50,000 WEBN Stakes
for 3-year-olds at Turfway Park
. It's the first of two local stakes that lead up to the April 2 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (gr. III). Watch Video
Shogood, bred in Illinois by Dr. Terry Morgan out of the Good and Tough
mare Good and Rough, won broke his maiden and won the Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) on Polytrack at Arlington International Racecourse
before a ninth-place finish in the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs
in November to end his 2-year-old season.
The colt returned Jan. 18 for the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park
and finished eighth in his first start around two turns. He continued to train in Arkansas before Becker shipped him north for the 6 1/2-furlong WEBN, which he won by 1 1/2 lengths as the 5-2 second choice.
Shogood, under regular rider Chris Emigh, covered the opening half-mile in a quick :45.02 on a unusually warm night in Northern Kentucky and finished up in 1:17.63 on Polytrack. He has earned $112,032 in six starts so far.
"I wanted to see what I just saw," Becker said after the race. "Maybe it was a little quick early, but he likes to run a little more free like that. He had some trouble in his last couple races, and I think this surface is more kind to him."
Becker said the rail wasn't the place to be in last year's Street Sense, so he forgave that effort. As for the Smarty Jones, he said: "I didn't think he really had an excuse last time at Oaklawn. So we penciled in this race, and we'll go from here."
Becker said Shogood is in the fence for the March 12 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles. "I think the distance limitations will probably keep up from (running), but we'll see what happens," he said.
Longshot Blue Wings
rallied in tandem with Surgical Strike
and finished a head in front of that one for second in the WEBN. The favorite, 3-year-old filly Banree
, rated a close fourth early and finished an even sixth; jockey Albin Jiminez said she didn't seem to like the kickback.
The Macho Uno
filly had two placings in grade III stakes in New York last year. The WEBN was her first start of the year for trainer Wesley Ward.